James Derick

I am writing today to offer my full support for the re-election of State Representative Jeffrey Roy.

I first met Jeff at a public Opioid Forum that he organized on June 30 2015. . The forum was arranged in response to the escalating death toll opioids were exacting on our community. As a father of a son that had struggled with Substance Use Disorder for over 10 years, I was anxious to see and hear what might be done about this epidemic.

Immediately after the forum I introduced myself to Representative Roy and shared my story with him. The genuine compassion and support he offered that evening was truly remarkable. Importantly, for the first time since our struggle began, I no longer felt alone.

Shortly after this event Jeff invited me to attend an opioid awareness walk held on Milford Common. Our conversation continued and not long after Jeff asked me if I’d be interested in taking on a leadership role with the newly forming opioid coalition. In the weeks that followed Jeff gathered a group of interested citizens which became the nucleus of what would become the SAFE Coalition.

Jeff quickly set to work providing the skill, leadership and organizational know- how helping us organize around a central mission that remains today; prevention, education and reducing the barrier to treatment for those impacted by Substance Use Disorder. He worked tirelessly to see that we had the solid foundation we needed to succeed, including advocating for what would become one of two $50,000 grants that provided the funding we needed for our programming. Jeff’s extraordinary efforts paid off and resulted in the successful formation of the SAFE Coalition, Inc. that now represents eight communities in Norfolk County.

The remarkable thing about Jeff is that he has done all of this with no fan fare. Simply put, Jeff has never made this about himself. To the contrary, once setting the coalition in motion Jeff had the courage to step back and entrust the leadership of the organization to community members like me and our volunteer board of directors. He took this leap of faith with the knowledge that it was best for the community and his constituency. While he has continued to work on our board he has empowered us to operate with autonomy which serves to ensure that this organization will thrive for years to come.

In a time when so many of our political leaders seek credit for their accomplishments to increase their political capital, Jeff has committed himself to doing the right thing for the community he loves.

For years I was certain that all politicians were the same – I subscribed to the theory that all that held office were in it for themselves and their own gain. Representative Roy smashed that old belief system and has proven to me that there are great people in government who place the needs of their constituents at the forefront of all that they do.

We are fortunate to have Jeff representing our community. I hope that you will join me in re-electing Representative Roy in November.

Jim Derick
35 Wampanoag Drive
Franklin MA 02038